Parade – Bruge, Belgium

Annually, on Ascension day, the city of Bruge puts together one of the most amazing parades that I’ve ever seen. Really.

With a history dating back to 1303, the Procession of the Holy Blood is a beautiful event that most everyone can appreciate.

From Adam and Eve to the crucifixion and the church afterwards, the 2+ hour long parade tells the history as the it stops along the route so that the characters can act our their part of the story. It’s all in Dutch, but it doesn’t matter. The costumes and makeup are amazingly realistic and ornate. They even have herds of real sheep, donkeys, and camels walking in the procession. Children will love this. You will want to have your camera ready.

Show up a couple hours early to get a good seat or find a table outdoors at one of the many restaurants along the route. We sat at a window on a corner restaurant which was perfect because the parade stopped there to act out the story parts. The kids sat inside and watched from the window while I ran out every few minutes to take pictures.

Ascension day is a holiday, but this event seems to draw a lot more locals than tourists. Bruge is a beautiful city to visit and this is a great day to see it. The weekend following; however, since it’s always a holiday weekend, is crazy with tourists, so if you have the flexibility to come a day early, I’d suggest visiting on the Wednesday and Thursday when possible. By Friday, it’s crowded.

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